Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
February 26, 2014
Question By: 
Roger Evans
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives

Question

 

I am a big fan of the ULEZ because it actually targets the area of London where the problem is, and will help to reduce the pollution around those areas which are worse affected.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Yes, the boroughs want to be in it.

 

Roger Evans AM (Deputy Chairman):  Having said that, when you introduce it will you consider repealing the wider low emissions zone, which affects outer London and punishes a lot of people where the pollution is not high and there is no reason for you to be charging them?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  An interesting point, Roger.  If there is any air quality benefit to be done from that measure I would be certainly willing to consider it.  In the meantime I think we have to look at the very large members of people London, 4,000 or more who die prematurely as a result of poor air quality, and actually to the best of my knowledge there are still some pretty nasty poor air quality hotspots in places outside central London, so I would be reluctant to do that.

 

Roger Evans AM (Deputy Chairman):  I was not suggesting there would be an air quality benefit in repealing that outer section of the charge, because there has not been much of an air quality benefit in introducing it in the first place.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is not true.

 

Roger Evans AM (Deputy Chairman):  It is actually the cost to people’s pockets that has suffered in outer London for very little benefit and that is why I suggest that you move the boundaries to where it is actually going to be helpful.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am obliged to you, Roger.  I must disagree with you because if you look at the air quality in London, over just the last few years with nitrous oxide, we have infringement proceedings against us, in fact proceedings against us now by the EU Commission over nitrous oxide, but it has come down by something like 20% since 2008.  I would have to check the figures and small particulate matter by about 15%.  That is a very considerable improvement in air quality and that is something to be welcomed.

 

Roger Evans AM (Deputy Chairman):  Have those improvements been achieved in outer London areas or in the centre of London?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I would be happy to give you more detail on where the improvements have been registered, but I think most people will accept that there are parts, even of outer London, where on busy days traffic congestion can cause serious pollution and I will reduce that.